Michael Bumpus's diary: Week One

PULLMAN — When I tell people what I'm doing this summer their reactions range from amazed to thinking I'm trying to pull one over on them. Rest assured, Coug fans, I'm very serious. Most of the team is here this summer for voluntary workouts. That means being in the weight room before most people are out of bed. That's every weekday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we're also on the field later in the day doing skeleton drills.

The team is split into three lifting groups. The start times are 5:45, 6:30 and 7:15. That's morning, mind you, not evening. I'm in the 5:45 group -- a spirited bunch of guys who take pride in knowing we are the first ones in the weight room and on the field for conditioning.

Our workouts last about two hours. Right after that I head to class. The good thing about working out early is that if you have an early class scheduled, your day can end early. Tuesday through Friday I'm done at 10:15am.

After a morning of tossing iron and running sprints, though, I can tell you that by the end of class you're so tired all you want to do is lay on a soft bed. Your body aches but you know this is going to pay off, both in the summer when we put on our pads, and during the actual season.

WSU has a reputation for having one of the best player turn outs in the nation for our voluntary workouts, and this year was no exception. Almost everyone was here on the first day of workouts June 6. Having so many guys out there forces us to push each other out of pure competitiveness. This elevates the intensity of our workouts.

Fall camp starts the first week of August. We don't get to put on our pads for about a week after camp starts. All of the workouts we do now have nothing to with plays -- it's all about preparing your body for a four-quarter game and the possibility of overtime.

So when August comes around, expect a lot of the pent up fire to be released on the practice field.

That's my life for the next seven months, workouts and school. But that's why we are here and its not as bad as it seems. If you have any questions for me, post them on the CF.C message boards and I'll do my best to answer them.

Michael Bumpus is a sophomore receiver and return man from Culver City, Calif., where he was a first-team "Best in the West" pick by the Long Beach Press-Telegram. As a WSU freshman in 2004, he set a school record for punt return yardage and earned a place on The Sporting News' Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. Along with defensive end Mkristo Bruce, he graciously volunteered to lend CF.C readers a window unto the world of pre-season Cougar football preparation with a weekly diary.

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